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'Barefoot Bandit' Colton Harris-Moore In Solitary At Washington Prison

By GENE JOHNSON 04/20/12 08:07 PM ET AP

Barefoot Bandit
Barefoot Bandit Colton Harris Moore

SEATTLE -- Colton Harris-Moore, the youthful thief known as the "Barefoot Bandit," is being held in solitary confinement at a Washington state prison, a situation his lawyer calls absurd.

The 21-year-old has been placed in the intensive management unit at Walla Walla State Penitentiary, where convicts facing the death penalty are housed, the Department of Corrections confirmed Friday. Spokeswoman Selena Davis said it's standard to place high-profile inmates in such confinement for their own protection.

"You're there by yourself," Davis said. "No one can pose a threat to you."

His Seattle attorney, John Henry Browne, insisted Friday that Harris-Moore neither needs nor wants such protection. He noted that prior to being transferred to state prison, Harris-Moore was held at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, where he was in the general population.

Harris-Moore was sentenced in December to seven years in state prison for dozens of crimes, including burglary and identity theft, stemming from his sensational two-year run from the law in stolen boats, cars and airplanes. A self-taught pilot, he was finally apprehended in a hail of bullets in the Bahamas in 2010, after he crash-landed a plane stolen from an Indiana airport.

Harris-Moore has been in solitary confinement at Walla Walla since April 11, and he will remain there pending a final decision on his prison placement, expected in about seven weeks, Davis said. Harris-Moore is allowed out of his cell five times per week, for an hour each time, plus three 10-minute showers per week. He's allowed to have books, but no television or radio.

His Seattle lawyer, John Henry Browne, said Friday it's absurd that a nonviolent felon like Harris-Moore is being held in conditions akin to those of the worst killers, and he's concerned about Harris-Moore's mental health. Because Harris-Moore is allowed out of his cell only five times per week, he has at least once been locked up for 72 hours with no recreation time, Browne said.

"I'm worried about it, but he sounded OK on the phone today," Browne said. "I just don't know how much longer he can handle it."

Browne, who is also representing Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of massacring 17 Afghan villagers in March, said he has asked state officials, including the governor's office, to intervene on Harris-Moore's behalf.

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Loading Slideshow...
  • Colton Harris-Moore

    This July 2009 file self-portrait provided by the Island County Sheriff's Office shows Colton Harris-Moore.

  • Barefoot Bandit

    In this February 2010 photo provided by the Islands' Sounder newspaper, chalk drawings of bare feet are shown on the floor of the Homegrown Market on Orcas Island, Wash., after the store was broken into overnight. Investigators say Colton Harris-Moore -- also known as the "Barefoot Bandit" -- was behind the break-in, as well as airplane thefts, numerous burglaries and a high-speed boat chase. (AP Photo/Courtesy Islands' Sounder, Meredith Griffith, File)

  • Jonathan Standridge

    Jonathan Standridge, poses for a photo at his home in SeaTac, Wash., Monday, March 18, 2013. Standridge is serving as a mentor to Colton Harris-Moore, who is also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," while Harris-Moore serves time in prison for series of thefts that included boats, cars and airplanes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Colton Harris-Moore

    The home of Colton Harris-Moore in Camano Island, Wash., is seen on Monday, July 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)

  • Colton Harris-Moore

    A warning sign is seen in the driveway at the home of Colton Harris-Moore in Camano Island, Wash., on Monday, July 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)

  • Colton Harris-Moore

    Colton Harris-Moore exits a plane handcuffed as he is escorted by police upon arrival at Nassau, Bahamas, on Sunday, July 11, 2010. Harris-Moore was arrested before dawn in northern Eleuthera Island, according to police. (AP Photo/Felipe Major)

  • John Henry Browne

    Attorney John Henry Browne, after appearing with his client Colton Harris-Moore, outside U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday, June 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)

  • Colton Harris-Moore

    In this courtroom sketch, Colton Harris-Moore appears before Judge Richard Jones in federal court, on Friday, June 17, 2011, in Seattle. Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to seven charges stemming from a multi-state crime spree that included the thefts of several airplanes and boats. (AP Photo/Peter Millett)

  • San Juan County Prosecutor

    San Juan County prosecutor Randall Gaylord (center) talks to reporters, as U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan (right) and FBI Special Agent in Charge Laura Laughlin (left) look on, Friday, June 17, 2011, in Seattle, after Colton Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to seven charges stemming from a multi-state crime spree. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Jonathan Standridge

    Jonathan Standridge, poses for a photo at his home in SeaTac, Wash., Monday, March 18, 2013. Standridge is serving as a mentor to Colton Harris-Moore, who is also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," while Harris-Moore serves time in prison for series of thefts that included boats, cars and airplanes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Colton Harris-Moore

    FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2011 file photo, Colton Harris-Moore, also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," stands in Island County Superior Court in Coupeville, Wash. Jonathan Standridge, a Boeing project manager, is serving as a mentor to Harris-Moore while Harris-Moore serves time in prison for series of thefts that included boats, cars and airplanes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

  • Pam Kohler

    Pam Kohler, the mother of Colton Harris-Moore who is also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," leaves the Federal Courthouse in Seattle, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, after she attended the federal sentencing hearing for her son. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Pam Kohler

    Pam Kohler, the mother of Colton Harris-Moore, who is also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," looks towards the Federal Courthouse in Seattle as she leaves in a vehicle, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, following the federal sentencing hearing for her son in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Colton Harris-Moore

    The shackled and sandal-clad feet of Colton Harris-Moore are shown as Harris-Moore, who is also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," walks into an Island County Superior Courtroom, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, in Coupeville, Wash. Harris-Moore pleaded guilty Friday to burglary and theft charges in the Barefoot Bandit case. The 20-year-old softly answered affirmatively when the judge asked if he understood his rights. He said guilty when the judge asked how he wanted to plead. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2010 file photo provided by the Islands' Sounder newspaper, chalk drawings of bare feet are shown on the floor of the Homegrown Market on Orcas Island, Wash., after the store was broken into overnight. The crime was blamed on Colton Harris-Moore, better known as the "Barefoot Bandit," who on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 is expected to plead guilty to about 30 state felony charges arising from a two-year, cross-country crime spree in stolen planes, boats and cars. (AP Photo/Courtesy Islands' Sounder, Meredith Griffith, File)

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